Skating on the Rideau Canal

Photo of a family skating on the Rideau Canal
Skating on the Rideau Canal

Take a skate along the world’s largest skating rink! Each winter, the historic Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is transformed into a 7.8-kilometre skating rink. The world-famous skateway winds it way through the heart of Ottawa, stretching from downtown to Dows Lake.

The Rideau Canal skate season typically runs from January to late February. Check the ice conditions (613-239-5234) for up-to-date information.

Grab your skates and experience the Capital tradition of skating on the Rideau Canal!

Facilities
Washrooms

Washrooms are open daily, from 8 am to 10 pm. All washrooms are universally accessible.

 

Located on the ice near the following:

  • Mackenzie King Bridge
  • Concord Street North
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Bronson Avenue
  • Dows Lake Pavilion

Located on land at:

  • Patterson Creek (not universally accessible from the ice)
  • Dows Lake Pavilion
Parking

Parking near the Rideau Canal Skateway includes the following locations:

  • Rideau Centre ($)
  • National Arts Centre ($) (50 metres from the NAC access ramp)
  • Ottawa City Hall (from Elgin Street) ($)
  • World Exchange Plaza (weekends, free; weekdays, $)
  • Bronson Avenue parking lot ($) (60 metres from the Bronson Avenue access ramp)
  • 580 Booth Street (weekdays, 6 to 11 pm; weekends, 8 am to 11 pm)
  • Dows Lake ($)
Most parking locations are marked on the Rideau Canal Skateway map.
Picnic areas

Picnic tables and food and beverage vendors are located on the ice near the following:

  • Mackenzie King Bridge
  • Concord Street
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Bronson Avenue
  • Dows Lake Pavilion

 

Open daily, from 11 am to 10 pm or longer.
Please note that services are available only in the open sections of the Skateway. Hours of operation may change without notice.

Rentals

You can rent skates and sleighs, sharpen your skates and check your boots at these locations on the Rideau Canal Skateway:

Mackenzie King Bridge (Capital Skates: 613-238-0134)
Mondays to Sundays, 10 am to 10 pm
No equipment rented after 8 pm.
Fifth Avenue (Capital Skates: 613-231-5861)
Fridays, 6 pm to 10 pm
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 10 pm
No equipment rented after 8 pm.
Dows Lake (Dows Lake Pavilion: 613-232-1001, ext. 5)
Mondays to Fridays, 9:30 am to 10 pm
Saturdays, 9 am to 10 pm
Sundays, 9 am to 9 pm

More Information

For more information, see the Rideau Canal Skateway Visitor Information page.